25 Moms ID'd as Minors in Polygamy Probe

Families separated as probe into rogue Mormon sect continues
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 3:28 AM CDT
Ruth, right, 34, a mother of four and a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, recounts to members of the press her experience of being separated from her children .   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Texas authorities have identified 25 more mothers from a polygamist ranch as underage girls, bringing the number of juveniles in custody to 460. The girls had initially claimed to be adults, Reuters reports. Officials are keeping hundreds of women and children from the polygamist compound in temporary custody in a rodeo stadium, under heavy guard.

Authorities dealing with the biggest child welfare case in Texan history have been moving children into foster homes all week and taking DNA samples in an attempt to straighten out the complex family relationships among sect members. There have been emotional scenes as families are pulled apart. Child welfare workers admit it's a tough job, but, one stressed, "these children have to be protected."